Short answer? Not very well.
My health insurance company has a program called "blue points" which is supposed to motivate me and my co-workers to exercise. It’s a great idea – very poorly applied. Yet another example of the "what " and the "how" being too far apart from each other.
Senior Executive: "Hey – let’s motivate people to exercise more – by giving them free stuff if they exercise – let’s develop a program that lets them log they activity. When they log activities – we give them points .. and at the end of the year – they can cash in the points for free stuff."
Development project manager: "OK .. we’ll make a website that they can use to log in and log their points"
But they missed the part where they think carefully about the user experience. Primary goal: encourage exercise. So we want to enable the application to capture the fact that exercise happened in a manner that is very easy for the end-user. Core principle: meet the user where they live – don’t make the user jump through too many hoops to achieve the goal.
I exercise often. As often as I should? No – but at least three days a week – and usually more. In the past year – I ran two half-marathons, one full marathon, and several shorter races. Training for all of this required that I run as much as 40 miles/week. So I should have plenty of "blue points" – right? well .. no – because I would rather spend my valuable time exercising rather than logging my exercise.
Let’s see what it takes to log exercise with Blue Points.
Log in to the Blue Cross website:
9:26 AM – find the Blue Points link:
9:27 .. ahh here it is ..
Next screen …
New window … logged in .. pick an activity ..
9:28 … log my activity ..
9:29 … type type .. click ..
Check the log to make sure it was saved.
Total time = 4 minutes. Not much, you say? What if I was exercising instead of sitting on my butt during these 4 minutes!
so .. five days a week (optimal case .. bear with me) .. exercise for 4 minutes .. = 20 minutes of exercise.. for 50 weeks .. = ~ 15,000 calories I’d spend over a year .. if I didn’t have to navigate this maze of a website every time.
Is there an alternative?
Of course. I can think of a handful … But I won’t lead the witness. Click here and let me know what you think is a better way. I’ll add some of the best of our ideas to mine in a follow-up post. We’ll then see if we can get their attention and get this implemented. J ..